The idea of voluntarily visiting a “random website” might sound a bit horrifying in 2019, but before the rise of social media and the explosion of global web content, that was often how content was discovered.
Tools like StumbleUpon and other “fun website of the day” features made early digital celebrities out of the married couple who draw under the names Drew Toothpaste and Natalie Dee. Their individual webcomics, Toothpaste for Dinner and Natalie Dee, along with their collaborative strip Married to the Sea, helped pioneer what is today a mainstream part of internet culture.
Having launched their first webcomics in 2002, the couple has watched the internet evolve—and attempted to evolve with it—as social media first offered a flood of new audiences and then functionally locked them away behind algorithms and helpful suggestions to spend money boosting posts as ads.
This week on the Adweek podcast, Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad, we catch up with Drew and Natalie to hear how they got started creating content for the web, how they parlayed it into full-time careers and what they’ve done to keep pace with changing technology. We also discuss their newest project: the Garbage Brain University podcast.
Here’s a quick sample of the art styles of Toothpaste for Dinner, Married to the Sea and Natalie Dee: